Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Shoe Selection

Hey everyone. Hope all of you are doing well this new year. Been pretty crazy on my end. I have been working on a presentation on the Functional Movement Screen for the Tennessee Athletic Trainers Society and have been having some software and computer problems.

Upon the idea of shoe selection, any Physical Therapist and Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) will instruct you to go to the runners store and get measured and fitted for a very good pair of running shoes. At least they should, the off the shelf brands aren't for everyone, many different people run in different ways. (And please stay far far away from Nike Shocks, its like you are running in high heels! BADBADBADBADBAD

Does anyone tell you what type of shoes you should wear to lift in? I learned the hard way from my RKC (Dave Whitley) and it was reinstated to me when I read Enter the Kettlebell by Pavel that any type of running shoe or workout shoe with a high heel is no good for lifting for a few reasons:

  • The heavy padding takes away from your "proprioception" or balance. The proprioceptors in your body help to communicate to the rest of the body on where your body is in space, lets just say they are muffled somewhat when you have shoes on with a padded heel
  • They take away from you using your biggest muscle, YOUR GLUTES! Think of it as this, if you come up from a deadlift or squat and are on your toes coming up you cannot fully initiate your glutes. You need to be able to drive force through your heels when performing squats and deadlifts, not the toes.

Your glute muscles are very important to your body and provide stability to your spine and lower body. As a society we suffer from "glute amnesia" (due to the fact that we sit all the time and do not use our glutes like we should, hence all the ankle, knee and back problems I see in therapy that are usually fixed with flexibility and good glute training).

I know, I know. Now you have to buy ANOTHER pair of shoes, but it will be worth it. I changed shoes and hit a new personal best on my snatch test on the 2nd day of training with them. You don't have to spend a lot of money actually. Pavel likes to wear Converse Chuck Taylors, Nikki and I spent $30 each and bought a pair of indoor soccer shoes, alot of RKC's wear Nike Free brand shoes. If is has a flat sole and is comfortable, then you are set!

From this day on if you walk into my clinic for therapy and you are not running that day, I will ask that you workout in flat soled shoes or I will have you work out in socks or bare feet. It makes a very significant difference when training and even in rehabilitation. As for running shoes, stick to running/walking in them. When its time to work on strength, take them off.

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